Bridging Loan Exit

The single most important thing when taking out a bridging loan is understanding how you are going to pay it back on time. Here is a summary of the most common ways borrowers repay their bridging finance.

Exiting a Bridging Loan

Bridging finance can be a very useful means of raising capital quickly and flexibly to help complete a project.

But what is a bridging exit and why is it so important?

Before you take out a short term bridging loan you should have an exit strategy to pay back the loan within the agreed timescales. These loans are designed to be short term. You will want to exit the bridge because the cost of a bridging loan tends to be higher than conventional mortgages and bridging lenders also want to recoup their capital on time.

Your exit strategy should not be based on pie in the sky plans, it’s important that you have a credible, well thought out and realistic exit plan and the lender will want to be comfortable with it before releasing funds. If you want to avoid additional charges and a higher default bridging loan rate you will certainly want to be confident you can hit your timescales.

Once the bridging loan is in place the lender and any good bridging loan broker should also contact you throughout the term to check how your bridging exit is progressing against plan. Are you on track? What alternatives have you got, if not on track? Communication with the lender is key, sticking your head in the sand will not help you, it’s better to have dialogue throughout the term.

What types of bridging exit are acceptable?


One of the most common bridging exit strategies is to refinance the property. You may have used a short term bridging loan for speed – perhaps to buy at auction – or because the property needed some work doing to it before you could raise a traditional mortgage. Either way, refinancing onto a traditional mortgage will bring down the cost of your finance and allow you to extend the loan term over years rather than months.

If you have made improvements to the property that have increased its value, you may well be able to borrow against this increased value and in turn release capital to put back in your pocket for the next project. In this instance you should consider if your estimated increased value is realistic. Do you have comparable evidence of property nearby that is worth a similar amount? The lender will do their own research to check how feasible is your increased value but it is worth doing your homework before you commit to the purchase.

Consider also the timescales for completion of the improvement works, do you have evidence and experience to back them up? Again, be realistic and allow for some contingency if progress is slower than planned. Another thing to consider is how quickly you can remortgage. Some traditional mortgage lenders will not allow you to do so until the property has been registered in your name for at least 6 months. If you’re on a tight deadline then it is essential that you consider this and make sure your solicitor registers the purchase with Land Registry as soon as possible after completion.

If you are using a commercial bridging loan to fund the purchase of a commercial premises you will need to consider the fact that a refinancing on to a commercial mortgage can take much longer than a traditional mortgage. Make sure you factor this into your loan term to allow breathing room for your exit strategy.

Sale of Property

The sale of the property is a common bridging finance exit strategy for investors that see an opportunity to buy a run-down property, complete a refurbishment and then sell it on for a profit, but the time it will take for the sale to complete can be difficult to judge. If your plan is to refurbish and sell the property within six months then the lender may question if this is achievable. We would advise that you allow for worst case scenario and as such, in the above example, a twelve-month term will give you more breathing space. There might not be any difference in the bridging loan rate, however, if you choose to take a bridging loan on a retained or rolled interest basis, the lender will release less cash on day 1 toward the purchase so you need to ensure you have the money to cover the larger deposit requirement.

Cash lump sum

If there is a clear route to a lump sum of money in a certain timeframe then you may use a bridging loan to secure the deal in advance of receiving the cash lump sum. It may be money from a pension or perhaps an inheritance that is pending probate. Alternatively, there may be another property sale that is close to completion, or some investments that are maturing on a certain date. Whatever the source of cash is, providing you can evidence it in some way and all parties are happy with its viability then you can proceed with the purchase, confident you can exit the bridge.

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What happens if I don’t pay back my bridging loan at the end of the term?

If you’re unable to execute your bridging finance exit strategy on time then your lender will look to charge some sort of penalty for defaulting on the agreed terms. We find some bridging lenders are willing to provide a short extension on their bridging loan which gives you the facility to service the interest (i.e. make payments) for three months. If you can do this you avoid having to pay the default bridging loan rate of interest and charges which would certainly be higher than the cost of servicing the extension interest.

Some bridging loan lenders charge a 2.5-5% fee on the outstanding balance. Therefore, our previous advice to maintain communication with your lender if you think you are going to miss the deadline may help your cause for some short-term flexibility.

Better still, if you suspect your refurbishment project could overrun you might want to have agreed a bridging loan that is flexible to allow for this. We have arranged bridging loans on a twelve-month term but with nine months retained interest and the last 3 months, if required, would be serviced by monthly interest payments.

Get in touch

Not sure what the best option is for you? Speak to one of our property finance consultants who are qualified to give you impartial advice, with no obligation.

We’re passionate about property, and would be happy to help.

Contact us

What type of bridging exit is likely to be unacceptable?

In short, any bridging exit that is not viewed as feasible or credible is unlikely to be acceptable to a lender.

An inexperienced investor may find themselves unstuck if they are tempted to work their figures on the best-case scenario in three key areas: time; cost; and end value. If you think your refurbishment works are going to happen super quickly, or your planning permission is going to fly through the local authority in days then a lender is unlikely to share your optimism. If you underestimate the expected costs with no contingency and inflate the final value of a project when completed, then you undermine the feasibility of your exit strategy with a lender.

We sometimes speak to property investors that have no evidence of current employment, but their intention is to redeem the bridging finance by refinancing using the job they haven’t yet secured. This vague plan isn’t likely to satisfy a bridging lender, but contrast that with ‘here’s a contract for a job starting in one month and here’s confirmation from a lender that will accept my refinance on that basis’. This last scenario would be an acceptable bridging exit plan.

“I need a bridging loan until I can pay back the defaults on my credit cards, then my credit rating will improve and I can remortgage the property.”


“My discharged bankruptcy will drop off my credit file in three month's time and I have an agreement in principle from a lender to remortgage the property when this happens.”

Clearly the latter example is going to provide you and the lender with confidence before taking out the bridging finance.

Having poor credit doesn’t stop you from getting a bridging loan, but you will want to make sure there is a solid plan to refinance or redeem the loan otherwise you risk damaging your credit position further.

Bridging Loan Reviews

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    Propp is a very genuine company. I have been in the property business for 30+ years and have dealt with many brokers. Propp by far, has been the best company I have had the pleasure to deal with. I needed help with finance & mortgages, this was dealt with absolute professionalism by Peter. The company were very hard-working and kept me updated the whole time. Tev & Harriet were also a major help! I am over the moon and will be recommending Propp to family and friends. I am currently still receiving help from Peter for my financial situation and will continue to do so.

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    I was assigned to Shana N and Ellie-Mai, who were both extremely helpful and knowledgeable. They were always professional, yet easy to talk to. I felt that they took the time to understand my needs in terms of products and timeframes. Their services were always prompt and clear, which allowed me to make the best decision for myself.I would undoubtedly recommend Propp, especially Shana N and Ellie-Mai.

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    We gave an almost impossible task. To arrange a BTL Mortgage in conjunction with a bridge on a second property. The team David and Matt with fantastic support from Nicole achieved the impossible and exceeded our expectations completing today against the odds. This was achieved by the expertise of the team and the relentless troubleshooting by Nicole with all the parties in a complex case. David, Matt, and Nicole, you have our sincerest thanks for a first-class job well done.

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    Super responsive and helpful brokers, with clear explanations and a great response rate, highly recommend!

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  • This is the second time we have used Propp!

    This is the second time we have used Prop for help financing our property portfolio. We were equally impressed this time. Friendly helpful and quick communication, honest professional advice and no pressure. We would definitely recommend them.

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    Excellent service from Connor and Nicole. Fast service, able to obtain maximum loan value.

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  • Would highly recommend!

    If you have a short deadline to complete, then these are the people to use. Thank you for all your support from Propp, especially Abbie & Nicole.

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    Excellent service, responsive and polite.

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  • An excellent experience

    Propp were absolutely excellent from start to finish. Matt was very helpful in finding the right lender for what we were looking for and Nicole could not have done more for us. She was helpful in so many ways; speeding up the transfer of documents, always staying in touch and constantly chasing solicitors and the lender to enable us to be able to complete on the arranged date. I don't think we would have managed it without her and am very grateful for all her efforts.

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  • Competitively priced, slick and quick!!

    All staff were great, but Nicole was my main contact at PROPP. She was great, my case was complicated and she had to consistently chase people on my behalf to speed up the process. Which she did with great enthusiasm. Always polite, positive, and assertive to get the job done!  After having a mortgage application refused by another lender, PROPP swooped in to save the day so I could purchase a freehold property with two flats, that I was desperate to get over the line. They uncomplicated everything about the process and stayed hot on the heels of the lender, solicitors, etc., so that the minute probate was granted, the sale went through slick and very quick! The rate they gave me was extremely competitive. I know this because called up so many companies for comparison.  I will be using PROPP again, as I hopefully continue to build my property portfolio. 😊

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    Great communication, and speedy response. Our re-mortgage was dealt with efficiently and they got us a good deal. Would definitely recommend and use again.

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† saving based on annualised interest rate saving where deal optimiser service negotiated a lower rate than lender’s published rate, based on current average saving of 0.9% and average loan £1051785. Time saving based on automated versus manual bespoke rate requests.

The solutions above refer to unregulated products only. Should you require a regulated loan please contact us. As a mortgage is secured against your property it could be repossessed if you do not keep up the mortgage repayments. Commercial mortgages and some forms of bridging, development and buy to let finance are not regulated by the financial conduct authority.